If you’re struggling to afford your energy bills, you might be able to take advantage of certain benefits, grants and help offered by the government.
Check how the Energy Price Cap affects you
The government has put a limit for most households on the rates your supplier can charge you for gas and electricity. This is called the Energy Price Cap. It starts on January 1 and lasts until December 31, 2023.
The amount you’ll pay depends on how much gas and electricity you use. All households and low-volume users in the Netherlands will pay a maximum of €1.45 per m3 of gas and €0.40 per kWh of electricity. The cap will only apply to the first 1,200 cubic meters of gas and 2,900 kWh of electricity used throughout the year. The consumption of any additional gas or electricity will be charged at the rates stated in the individual energy contracts.
You don’t need to do anything. The Energy Price Cap automatically applies to all types of energy tariffs.
Get a €380 energy discount from the government
Because the new year is still some time away, Dutch households will also receive energy bill refunds of €190 in the last two months of 2022. While this doesn’t entirely solve the high energy cost problem, it allows the authorities to ease the load for most consumers.
Who is entitled to the government energy discount?
All households with a domestic electricity connection will receive grants in November and December to help with energy bills. You don’t need to do anything to get the money and you won’t have to pay it back.
How you get the discount will depend on your energy supplier. Your energy supplier can choose to pay the contribution by:
- transferring €190 to you via direct debit in November and December;
- deducting €190 from your monthly bill in November and December or €380 from your final electricity bill;
- transferring part of the contribution to you, and deducting the other part from your monthly or final electricity bill;
- deducting €190 from an outstanding bill or payment arrangement in November and December;
transfer €380 to you via direct debit after you end the contract.
Your energy supplier will let you know how they will transfer the funds to you.
What if my monthly amount is less than €190?
Even then, you are entitled to receive the full amount. If your energy supplier has a policy of transferring the full 190 euro to your bank account, your monthly amount does not matter. If it is paid with your monthly amount, you can pay the remaining amount within the month. Another option is to deduct the remaining amount from your final payment.
Are you entitled to a one-off energy allowance?
Low-income households will also be eligible for an additional €1,300 in help to pay their energy bills in 2023. This is a welcome benefit, but whether you get it depends on a number of factors, including on where you live and your monthly income. In general, you can apply for the energy allowance if you earn less than €1,310.05 (single) or €1,871.50 (cohabiting couple) per month. If you receive bijstandsuitkering (social assistance payment), IOAW, IOAZ or Bbz benefit, you will automatically receive the allowance. However, some local authorities go a bit further. The municipality of Groningen has announced, for instance, that those whose income falls between 120% and 140% of the social assistance standard can be eligible for the one-time payment of 600 euros. You can apply for this energy bonus until December 31, 2022.
All the above measures follow a plan to spend about €23.5bn in 2023 to help people deal with high inflation, particularly those on lower wages, as inflation in the Netherlands jumped to 17.1% in September 2022.
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